|Titre :||The role of the media in the science-policy nexus. Some critical reflections based on an analysis of the Belgian drug policy debate (1996-2003) (2014)|
|Auteurs :||J. TIEBERGHIEN|
|Type de document :||Article : Périodique|
|Dans :||International Journal of Drug Policy (Vol.25, n°2, March 2014)|
|Article en page(s) :||276-281|
|Discipline :||SAN (Santé publique / Public health)|
Thésaurus TOXIBASEPOLITIQUE ; MEDIA ; EVOLUTION ; ETUDE QUALITATIVE ; DISCOURS ; INFORMATION
BACKGROUND: Drug policy is one of the most polarised subjects of public debate and media coverage, which frequently tend to be dramatic and event-centred. Although the role of the media in directing the drug discourse is widely acknowledged, limited research has been conducted in examining the particular role of the media in the science-policy nexus. We sought to determine how the (mis)representation of scientific knowledge in the media may, or may not, have an impact on the contribution of scientific knowledge to the drug-policy making process.
METHODS: Using a case study of the Belgian drug-policy debates between 1996 and 2003, we conducted a discourse analysis of specially selected 1067 newspaper articles and 164 policy documents. Our analysis focused on: textual elements that feature intra-discourse differences, how players and scientific knowledge are represented in the text, the arguments used and claims made, and the various types of research utilisation.
RESULTS: Media discourse strongly influenced the public's and policy makers' understanding as well as the content of the Belgian drug policy debate between 1996 and 2003. As a major source of scientific knowledge, media coverage supported the 'enlightenment' role of scientific knowledge in the policy-making process by broadening and even determining frames of reference. However, as the presentation of scientific knowledge in the media was often inaccurate or distorted due to the lack of contextual information or statistical misinformation, the media may also support the selective utilisation of scientific knowledge.
CONCLUSIONS: Many challenges as well as opportunities lie ahead for researchers who want to influence the policy-making process since most research fails to go beyond academic publications. Although media is a valuable linking mechanism between science and policy, by no means does it provide scientists with a guarantee of a more 'evidence-based' drug policy.
|Domaine :||Drogues illicites / Illicit drugs|
|Affiliation :||Institute for Social Drug research (ISD), Ghent University, Belgium|